The leadership of the National Reformation Movement within the All People’s Congress has received a deluge of concerns about the movement’s silence on a plethora of issues. These concerns were, and still are, vigorously bombarded by our global membership and all those who are in sympathy with the call for improvements in laws and practices that are widely objectionable and prone to abuse in our party’s internal politics.
We all saw how, under pressure to reform the internal politics of the APC, the EBK-led leadership empanelled a Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) in November 2018 to review the 1995 Constitution of the party, with a directive to report on January 31st, 2019 — a deadline which has already elapsed without any explanation as to what occasioned the inability or unwillingness to produce a new constitution within that period.
Improvements in laws and practices of our party’s internal politics being the central point of the reformation agenda, the setting up of the CRC occasioned us to put our activities on hold to see how the review process will unfold. While we appreciate the setting up of the CRC, we are beginning to wonder if its formation is not part of the putting up of a general pretence to review the 1995 Constitution of the APC. This apparent pretence is prevalent everywhere: it is seen in the attempt to bind the CRC members by a White Paper that clearly puts itself in opposition to any meaningful change that will be of benefit to the party and elevate the political participation of its long-suffering supporters; it is seen in proposing a manipulative consultation clause, which is a loud echo of the much abused selection clause; it is the emblem on the reluctant drops of efforts to get a new constitution produced. It almost speaks out aloud in the contemptuous disregard, from both the CRC and the Party Secretariat, for getting the ordinary supporter well-informed on what is happening in the CRC. Whatever gloss the APC establishment puts upon this unhelpful posture, they only add up to the making of a general pretence of reviewing the constitution; and thus perplexing the minds of many in the APC about the sincerity of the whole review process.
Again, while we continue to hold some members of the CRC in high regard, we wish to remind them that nobody is there to foist personal opinions on the larger community of the APC. The mandate is to produce a modern and democratic constitution that will serve as an important brake on the abusive and oppressive use of power. A Constitution that will operate in the shadow of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act. No 6 of 1991, which makes Sierra Leone a democratic state. You might like to be reminded that any Constitution that tends to limit the right of the ordinary members to energized dancing at political rallies and take away their fundamental right to meaningful participation in their party’s internal politics will be sabotaged and be met with the stiffest resistance ever to be recorded in the political history of the APC. Slavery to the overconcentration of power in the hands of the few is a relic of yesteryears!
We are fully mindful of the trickery of the APC Secretariat — a Secretariat that has been very artful in its deception, so far as the constitutional review process is concerned. It comes as no surprise that the Secretariat’s attachment to the monopoly of power finds an opening in the ongoing effort to substitute the Selection Clause with a Consultation Clause. It is tempting to conclude that such efforts aim at continuing the abusive use of power, where few people will do as they please and walk all over the rest of the membership. Well, this is purely a Tutuolan fantasy, and indicative of the leadership’ fading hold on reality. Don’t wait until the cries for reforms mutate into thunder!! If this wilful deception at stalling the democratization process and contempt for the rest of the membership continue, we at NRM will be left with no option but to recall our members from the CRC, followed by a press conference.
While we sympathize with Comrades who have been named as Persons of Interest at the ongoing Commissions of Enquiry and those invited by the Anti Corruption Commission, it is our position that the party should not be brought to a standstill to the point of failing to reform and re-positioning it for victory. We cannot exaggerate our solidarity with them in times like this. We also cannot exaggerate our solidarity with the ordinary comrades in detention, those in hospitals, the great many out of jobs and the many more struggling to eke out a living. A party in opposition should be used as a sword in defense of the rights of its members and the general populace, not only to be used, as it is oftentimes the case in our situation, as a shield for the interests of a few of its influential members. The broad smiles that radiated the faces of our leaders at the meeting with His Excellency at State House speak a lot about our party leaders’ enduring instincts for self-preservation. And this means all of other issues must exist in the shadow of that self-preservation, meant only for the benefit of the APC leadership. It is difficult to read any meaning of hope for the responsible exercise of governmental powers in those broad smiles!! Those broad smiles hold out no hope for the suffering masses!! No hope for the political capital of the party!!
We at the NRM refuse to be thrown off-balance by this growing penchant for self-preservation, emanating from the leadership of our party. It only makes us more determined to exert the kind of force through which the party can be saved.
Even though the inefficiency that has become the hallmark of your leadership is hard to reconcile with the expectations of the members and supporters of the party, we do not want any of you to lose the opportunity of taking a dignified exit. We, therefore, demand that an Extraordinary Convention be convened this year to adopt a new constitution and get new leaders elected into positions, to give the party a fighting chance and add new impetus to the struggle of the APC.
Conclusively, the membership of the NRM, at home and across the globe, also wish to remind the APC leadership about a letter the movement addressed to them on the 12th October, 2018, in which a request was made for an audited financial report of the party’s finances. The APC being a public institution, this kind of accountable leadership will help to restore the public confidence and that of our members. We, therefore, hope that you will make true the promise to get us this audited financial report within the shortest possible time.
The NRM remains committed to the drumbeat for reforms!!
Long Live the APC!!
God bless the reformation agenda!!
Osman Bikal Kamara,
Secretary General, NRM-APC.